Saturday, August 29, 2015

First Week Success

Week one of school is completed! I completely changed our lazy morning routine to capitalize on, especially Aliza's, morning energy. It has been working! The rule is no computer entertainment until rest time. (Side note: I've known that this needed to happen for a long time. It is only now that I'm of a state of mind that I can effectively implement it. I'm not sure what changed except that I'm not pregnant and baby is getting bigger.) I was expecting lots of drama over this change, but there hasn't been any. Aliza and Josiah are welcome to start listening to to their lessons as soon as they wake up. This happened the first couple days, but by the end of the week they were finding other things to play with! This week we were home ALL week so every day, with the exception of cousin play morning, we were finished by noon or earlier. This makes all of us so happy. I can think about and do more things than school--amazing! By taking advantage of the early morning hours even when we are away later in the morning we will still have a good start on school by the time we get home.

I decided to do a K4 program with Anna since she turns 5 in November. She is pretty excited to have school. Most days she has had her folder and supply box out before I get out of the shower. She is very independent in her work and subscribes to the "do it as fast as you can" method that her big sister uses. There is lots of music and stories built in to the lesson. Here Anna is making billy goat puppets to act out the story of Three Billy Goats Gruff that she heard in the lesson.
Here's another great thing about the morning--I'm more patient and more capable of using a calm, quiet voice. So when the whining about writing or having to do History comes I can just calmly say "this is the way it is" and move on which helps the whining to move on more quickly to, I think.

Oh! I almost forgot my favorite Josiah success story of the week. Last year I really just went through the motions of Spelling with Josiah. He copied his word list and did the work, but I never made him memorize words. I am a little concerned that I am going to regret that in 2nd grade. This week he did not have a list, but he had his first journal entry for day 4 of the five day spelling list cycle. They are given a topic and I have them write as much as they want on their own--without me spelling words for them. Josiah had to think long and hard about what he was going to write. (He frequently counts letters in words to make sure he chooses short words.) He chose to write "I like going to the beach." He said, "I think I know how to spell beach, Mom. I'm going to surprise you." I was totally expecting him to spell "beech." Nope. He spelling beach correctly. I exclaimed, praised and must have done a happy dance because I was standing up. When I sat back down he continued with "It is fun." But before he started writing he said, "Mom, next time you don't have to get so excited."

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